Friday, May 17, 2013

The Watch Everyone is Talking About. The Opus XIII. A Harry Winston with Ludovic Ballouard

Peering at the Harry Winston Opus XIII, I feel as if I am being drawn into an horological vortex.  Staring into the depths of its geometric design, I feel a sense of hypnotic unreality washing over me.
"Wow!", I exude with an exhilaration in the face of excellence.  "Wow!" Emotions give way to a curiosity of mechanical function.  "How does this timepiece work?  In what way is time displayed? What is the manner of the movement? With what materials is this masterpiece made?  The questions whirl in my head like tumbleweed in a Texan dust storm. 

Of the maker of this timepiece, Harry Winston commissioned a master: Ludovic Ballouard.  You may be familiar with his brilliant "Upside Down' Complication - whereby all hours are upside down except for the current hour - read more about it here

Time display does seem a tad complicated, as hands and indices look like the makings of a complicated psychological test.  However time display as complicated as it may seem, is powered by a movement of extreme complication and  complexity. The time display utilizes 59 pivoting minute hands and 11 rotating  triangular  hour indices. A trapdoor where hours and minutes are as fleeting as time itself add to the hypnotic dimension of the Opus XIII.

An 18k white gold case of 44.25mm in diameter and 13.6 mm in diameter house the manual winding mechanical movement of 364 parts. 242 jewels ensure smooth transitions of motion.  Each pivoting minute hand is secured by a steel shaft and two ruby bearings. The balance wheel swings at 21,600 vph - an excellent frequency for a mechanical movement.  35 hours of power reserve enables one to forgo a day of winding.  As this watch is not an automatic, winding is required manually at the crown and their is no rotor inhibiting the view of the complex mechanics revealed by a sapphire crystal case back.

The dial is displayed beneath a faceted sapphire crystal dome creating a magical effect.  Polished, rhodium plated minute and five-minute hands are differentiated by black and white transfer for the minutes and black and red for the five minutes. The 59 pivoting minute hands rotate at 40-degrees. Hours are represented by 11 polished, rhodium plated triangular shapes which rotate at 180-degrees to point to the correct hour.  At the end of every hour, an outer hour ring moves forward simultaneously drawing in the "old" hour beneath the faceted dome at the dial center.    Only 11 hour hands and 59 minute hands are required , as at noon and midnight the time display is only represented by  an“HW” logo revealed at the center of the watch.

The 18k white gold bezel is emblazoned with Harry Winston at the 12 'o'clock and Opus XIII at the 6 'o'clock.

Fastened securely between 18k white gold lugs, a supple hand sown black alligator strap is secured by an 18k white gold folding buckle.  The Opus XIII is water resistant to 30 meters. 

If your heart desires an attractive and magically charming display of time, take heed, the Opus XIII is limited to 130 pieces world wide. The price remains under wraps, but I have a hunch it will be well into the five figure range.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Checkout Jacob & Co's Grand Baguette Simply Smothered in Diamonds

Jacob the Jeweler smothers his G5 design in a myriad of  baguette diamonds aptly named the "Grand Baguette" .  The effect is dazzling display of overall perfection achieved by precisely matched stones for clarity, color and carat. The gem setting is practically invisible accentuating the intriguing shape of the case rather than smothering it. 

The original design of five sided case signature of the G5 Collection is the brain child of Jacques Fournier CEO of Horology Design Limited.  Jacques Fournier worked closely with the brand owner collaborating on every aspect of the design process. Jacques Fournier brings vague ideas to solid realization of form. With the aid of 3D visuals and animation; precise technical drawings, Jacques Fournier turns the guess work of new designs into educated calculations.  The five sided case was also incorporated in Jacob & Co. "The Ghost" - a multi-timezone GPS digital timepiece, which made its debut back in 2012.

As to how many diamonds make up the "Grand Baguette?  360 baguette diamonds on the case, 120 on the dial and a brilliant cut diamond at its center.  The five crowns are non forgotten and glitter with 3.5 baguette carat diamonds. All in all ,except for the crowns, one can count 761 diamonds. 

As to the price - well its up there no doubt and only revealed to the earnest of buyers.  A mere 6 pieces will be available throughout the globe and no doubt will become a heirloom for generations.